|Marlon Wayans on the set of his new film, “A Haunted House.”|
Multi-talented Marlon Wayans graduated from the prestigious High School of Performing Arts in New York and Howard University’s Film School. He is best known for getting his start in Hollywood as a cast member of the Emmy Award-winning comedy series, “In Living Color.” Marlon then went on to create, executive produce and star in The Wayans Bros. on the WB.
Together with brothers Keenen and Shawn Wayans and producer Rick Alvarez, he formed the successful production company Wayans Brothers Entertainment. Some of his noteworthy credits include “The Ladykillers,” directed by the Coen Brothers; the record-breaking “Scary Movie” and “Scary Movie 2,” “White Chicks,” “Norbit” and “Dance Flick.”
Marlon’s compelling dramatic performance as a drug addict in Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem for a Dream” proved he could do more than comedy. Most recently, Marlon was seen starring opposite Channing Tatum in the box-office smash, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.”
Next, he will play the title role in Sony Pictures’ “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?” Marlon will also star in the upcoming Harmony Korine film “Twinkle, Twinkle.”
Marlon continues to publish books under the 101 Ways title including 101 Ways to Know You’re a Golddigger, 101 Ways You Know It’s Time to Get Out Of Your Mama’s House and 101 Ways to Know You’re Having a Ghetto Christmas.
Where did you find the inspiration to write this film?
I was watching “Paranormal Activity” 1 and [“Paranormal Activity”] 2, which were very successful hits at the box office, and I just thought to myself, “If I want to do a movie, how am I going to approach this?”
Then, I had this epiphany that, “Damn, white people do a lot of stupid stuff in these movies.” Wouldn’t it be funny if a lot of paranormal activity happened to a black couple?
Now, how do I keep them in the house longer than five minutes? That became the comic premise for the movie. From there, it just snowballed into a bunch of jokes. So, I got together with Rick Alvarez, my producing partner, and we decided to write it together.
Are you the only Wayans in this film?
That must be a first. How do you explain that? We’re used to seeing multiple Wayans in a Wayans production.
Nobody loves me. [Chuckles] No, everybody wanted me to do this one by myself, and I wanted to do it by myself. So, this is sorta like my first solo album. I didn’t pull any tricks out of my hat, and just went with the natural flow of the film.
What audience are you trying to attract? The same crowd that went to see “Scary Movie”?
Not just them. They’re older now. I really want to hit the next generation of kids, the YouTube Generation. And also women, because it’s a relationship movie with romantic elements. I think anybody who wants to laugh is the intended audience.
When was the last time you had a good laugh?
I was just watching “The Campaign” on video. Will Ferrell makes me laugh. So does Zach Galifiniakis. But when Will punched the kid in the face, I was hurting. And then when he punched the dog, too, I was hurting some more. Those two scenes made me laugh hysterically.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
My piano. Although I don’t know if playing piano is a guilty pleasure. My guiltiest pleasure would be wine.
What was the best business decision you ever made?
To make this movie. I took no money up front. I did it out of love, and hopefully it will be successful and keep the Wayans brand growing. It’s an extension of the brand, not a departure from it.
If you only had 24 hours to live, what would you do? Would you do the bad stuff you never got a chance to do, or would you do good stuff to make sure you make it into heaven?
I’d absolutely spend it with my family, laughing.
What is your favorite charity?
The Wayans family. [Laughs] And the Hudson Guild. It’s a community center that helped us out when we were kids. So, we definitely give back to it.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t follow mine, create your own, trailblaze your own. Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on. Being successful means that you’re working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard toward it. That’s living your dream.
How do you want to be remembered?
As a guy who’s not going to change your life, but who is going to change your mood. As a guy who made you smile and say, “I miss him. He was a lot of fun.”